If you’re ready to jump headfirst into the exciting world of cosmetology, you’re probably wondering where to go for your education.
You probably want a fun and hip school that also gives you the knowledge and skills you need to start your career as a cosmetologist.
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a school. Here, we’ll run down a few of the things to think about as you weigh your options.
As you research cosmetology schools, be sure to consider the institution’s reputation. You don’t want to land in some fly-by-night diploma mill.
Take a look at the school’s history; ask about job placement after graduation; look into the faculty to see their credentials; ask your admissions rep about accreditation. If you find that the school you’re researching doesn’t measure up in one or more of these categories, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.
You could also ask your favorite stylist if she knows about the school and has some insight about how it’s viewed.
Reputation can be a big factor in your post-graduation job prospects, so be sure the cosmetology school you plan to attend has a good standing in the industry.
A great way to find out whether a school is right for you is to hear from current students and graduates.
Many cosmetology schools have a section of their website where you can read testimonials, and you can also follow the school via social media to get a sense of how students feel about their schooling.
If you can, try to track down a current student. Tell her you’re considering the school and find out what she thinks. It could be a great way to get the info you need to make the right decision.
Take a tour of the campus and observe the students—it will give you a sense of how much they enjoy what they’re learning and whether they’re enthusiastic about class.
How a student views his or her school can help you decide whether it’s a good fit for you.
In a perfect world, you’d find a cosmetology school near your home or workplace.
Location is a big part of the decision-making process, and getting your education close to where you live and work can make things much more convenient.
You need to be in class (and on time), so you should find out what the commute would be like and see if there is easy access to public transportation. How about the parking situation? Could you bike to school some days? Does the school have multiple locations that would make it easier for you to get to all your classes?
While location shouldn’t be your only consideration, it should be evaluated when you choose which school to attend.
You’re going to look at how much a school costs, but a big part of this equation is looking at how much help you can get.
Check out the financial aid opportunities at a particular school. Some offer low-interest loans, grants and scholarships that can really ease your financial burden.
You will have to apply for scholarships, and the school’s officials should be helpful and walk you through the process. You might qualify for more financial aid than you initially imagined.
Mull over all your options, your own finances and what the school can provide. Cosmetology school could be more affordable than you think.
Being able to take classes around your schedule can help you stay organized, motivated and on track to graduate. If you find yourself scrambling all the time because of a school’s rigid schedule, you’ll have a harder time being successful.
You want to have options available to you: day or evening classes, full or part time. A good school will work with you to find a schedule that makes sense for your lifestyle.
Flexibility can also refer to the types of programs the school offers. Be sure to choose a school that fits with your existing skills and career ambitions.
There’s a reason you’re going to cosmetology school: to land a cool job in a field that you love.
You should ask a school’s representative about its job-placement rate for graduates and how they help students after graduation. If you see that there won’t be any support services for alumni, you might want to consider going somewhere else.
Will the school help you locate job openings? Assist you with writing your resume and cover letter? Can they help you polish your interview skills? A good cosmetology school will help you find a career in the beauty industry.
Do you see yourself running your own salon? Maybe working at the corporate level at a major beauty-supply company?
If so, you should find out whether the cosmetology school you’re considering has further education options. Your cosmetology background, combined with a business degree, can give you the skills you need to get a job in management, marketing, as an entrepreneur or another position in the industry.
If you have big plans for your career, you might want to find a school that allows you to continue your education.
Go with your gut
Trust your instincts.
After you’ve done your research, visited the campus and weighed your options, you may find that you’re leaning toward one school over another. It could be the small class sizes, hands-on learning, salon environment or vibe with the instructors that tips the balance.
Getting a diploma from a cosmetology school can open the doors to an exciting, fun and rewarding career. Go for it!